Spatchcock, Mushrooms, Pancetta Dust, Potatoes, Herb Emulsions

It's been a while since I've had the time and energy to cook a completely new dish over a weekend. But I've been dying to try a few new techniques I've been testing and I'm also keen to keep the trend of "no recipes" going. So this past weekend I decided to throw together some ingredients that I've been playing with and try to knock out a top dish. 

Now it may seem pretty simple but it was a fair bit of work. But the flavour combinations were like nothing I've created before and the Gourmet Female was singing its praises all night! So I present to you, Spatchcock with potatoes, mushrooms, peas, pancetta dust, and herb emulsions...

The first thing you'll need to do is to make the herb emulsions and you can do these a couple hours in advance. Pretty simple, you'll need:

  • 10g tarragon
  • 10g parsley
  • 40g olive oil

With a stick blender blitz each ingredient on its own with 20g of olive oil. It will probably require a few pauses to scrape the ingredients back into the middle to blitz again. Once you've created a paste, press the herb mixture through a small sieve into a small container and set aside. You'll end up with two small containers, one with the parsley emulsion and one with the tarragon emulsion. 

The remaining ingredients you'll need are:

  • 3 large roasting potatoes
  • 110g snow peas in pods, then shelled
  • 100g button mushrooms, sliced in half
  • 100g pancetta
  • 500g organic free-range chicken stock
  • 1 500g spatchcock (butterflied)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp duck fat
  • salt and pepper

First, slice your spatchcock into four pieces, two legs and two breasts. Season with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, crushed coriander seeds, and lemon juice. Let marinate for about an hour.

Put the stock into a small saucepan and set on a low simmer for about 45 minutes - about the time the rest of the prep should take.

Now, you need to make the pancetta dust. This is the first time I've made it and I have to say, it's pretty freakin' incredible! And SO easy to make. 

Warm your oven on grill 8 setting and allow to warm to full temperature. Place the pancetta slices in a pan and grill for four minutes. Turn the pancetta and grill for another four minutes. Remove once done and place on paper towel to absorb the grease. After a few minutes crumble the pancetta into a stick blender container and blitz to a fine dust. Set aside. This is what you'll end up with!

Turn the oven to fan bake at 200C and let heat.

Now you'll need to prepare the potatoes. You'll either need a circular ring cutter or make your pieces into squares. I prefer the look of the circles but both taste just fine. Slice the potatoes on each side so that they have square tops and bottoms at the width of your desired thickness. Then cut six pieces, wash, and set aside.

Heat the duck fat in a non-stick pan on medium-high and then add the potatoes, cut side down. Season the potatoes with salt, pepper, and paprika. Then heat an oven safe fry pan with a splash of olive oil on another burner.

After the potatoes start to brown on one side flip them over and cook until brown on the other cut side. Once both sides are browned then roll the potatoes on their side and add the spatchcock pieces, skin down, to the oven safe fry pan and fry for three minutes. Flip and move the spatchcock to the oven and cook for 15 minutes.

Keep rolling the potatoes to get a golden brown crust on all sides. Once the spatchcock is cooked through remove and let sit aside to rest. Add the mushrooms to the potatoes and cook for three minutes, flipping constantly.

Meanwhile, spread some pancetta dust on each plate. Quickly add the peas to the mushrooms and potatoes and cook for one minute. Remove and add to the plates. Place two pieces of spatchcock on the pancetta dust and then add the potatoes.

Place a few drops of the tarragon and parsley oils on each plate and then drizzle the reduced stock. It should be almost a syrup consistency. That's it! Trust me, people will be talking about this one for a while...